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Some of the poorest nations in the world are the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Haiti, to name but a few. This usually results from a number of different interrelated problems. For instance, in many if not all of these countries the public officials only work to enrich their own lives and not that of the citizens, although this happens in wealthy nations like the US at the same time. There are so many historic and geographic factors that play into all of this, but there are practical solutions. The trick is to actually get everyone involved from the United Nations on down to Social Services and beyond. Ultimately, people in the most destitute places on Earth need to be provided with irrigation and sanitation networks, for them to even begin to have their basic needs met. This is systemic in nature, involving various different interdependent things like widespread unemployment and the rising cost of living, coupled with wage stagnation. There are countless socio-economic and geo-political things that can lead to the impoverishment of the masses.

When you get right down to it, the scope of the problem of extreme poverty is absolutely mind-blowing. Around the world, nearly 800 million people exist in the most unlivable conditions imaginable. The bottom line is that more than ten percent of our species lives on less than $2 per person per day. This is why at least a million kids will die this year from severe acute malnutrition. The thing is that there is more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet, yet people still go hungry as food goes to waste. If that wasn’t bad enough, every single day a thousand children under the age of 5 die from preventable illnesses like dysentery and cholera. This is all caused by contaminated water and inadequate sanitation, because there is a tremendous lack of infrastructure in much of the world. Even here in America people are currently expected to consume contaminated water in Michigan as a result of corrupt government officials. As our world gets smaller through increased trade and travel, people’s priorities need to change to meet the logistical demands of the human race as a whole. This is absolutely necessary to bring genuine humanity to the world.

Truth be told, Africa really needs the most help out of any continent with roughly 385 million people living in extreme poverty, while Asia isn’t far behind with almost 330 million. Meanwhile, although still in desperate need of help, North America has about 15 million people living in the same kind of abject sorrow. Therefore, since Ethiopia is much worse off than Mexico, more needs to be done in the former than the latter. At least here in the US there is a threadbare safety net, so we have things like food stamps and food banks to help keep people fed. This isn’t the case in a place like the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The country has a population of nearly 80 million, two-thirds of which live below the poverty line. This is unfortunate, and totally unnecessary. The nation has arable land and a vast supply of numerous natural resources. There are so many deposits of natural gas, along with iron and platinum, to name just a few of the resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Gold and diamonds are even incredibly plentiful there. All of that could and should be transformed into wealth for the citizens but it isn’t. The country is rife with tyranny, so the average life expectancy within it is only about 60 years of age. It’s all connected.

From an international perspective Africa obviously needs lots and lots of support from all over the world to get to the point of taking care of itself. Right now there are so many countries on that continent experiencing severe political instability, which leaves whole communities with insufficient power in every sense of the word. That’s just completely unacceptable in the 21st century. Stable governments need to be in place everywhere, so that cities can all have hospitals and schools and fire departments. After all, organizations like Doctors Without Borders can only do so much. Plus, natural disaster relief is always needed somewhere in the world and this will only get worse as the climate changes in more extreme ways. Refugees are everyone’s problem, whether they are running from a dictator or a drought, or both, like in Syria.

The way I see it, the wealthiest nations like the UAE and Singapore need to invest more in the future of humanity by helping out countries like Haiti and Afghanistan, whenever possible. Too bad we still don’t have a planetary parliament to oversee that kind of global redistribution of wealth. Fortunately, over the next few years as Jim Yong Kim works on his second term, the World Bank is set to invest 25 billion dollars a year into the most impoverished places on Earth. Of course, this is just a drop in the bucket, but it will definitely help those who need it most. So, if you are someone with the means to give, then for everyone’s sake please help the less fortunate in any and every way you can. If you make any donations just make sure the charities you give to are truly reputable and will actually work to help people help themselves, at least in the long run. If nothing else just volunteer at a local soup kitchen. There are so many little things that you can do to make a really big difference in the lives of others. The more thoughtful you are the better things will be.

An Autodidact Polymath

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